Don’t work on your weaknesses, better your strengths

I cannot believe that it is nearly Christmas – where has the year gone? With Christmas comes a period of review – of whether New Year resolutions have been achieved, of optimism about the year ahead, and it’s also that time when you get embroiled in personnel appraisals. And it is the latter that has taken up my time this week.

One dilemma has got me thinking. From my earliest days at school, I was always taught to identify my weakness and to focus on redressing it – on the pretext that a good pupil/worker/expert is someone without weakness. However, a new train of thought suggests ignoring your weaknesses and instead focusing only on your strengths to make them even stronger. This is based on the pretext that if you have got as far as you have in life with those weaknesses, it is far more effective to spend your time becoming a true expert in those areas that come naturally, and let someone else worry about the areas where you struggle more.

Could the principle be applied to marketing campaigns? As I look at the post-event reviews of my campaigns this year, and particularly whether each campaign met the objectives that were laid out in the original business case, should I ignore those that fell short? Perhaps

I should not worry whether a tweak here or there would make a difference next time and instead focus on those campaigns that hit their ROI and work out how to make them even better.

Is this what sets apart a great marketer from a simply good marketer? You could argue that it is easier to do the former – make the tweaks to bring it up to par, but is true differentiation created through the latter, i.e. really pushing the boundaries of success?

Personally I am not sure, but I think the concept is an interesting one and for someone who operates in a largely undifferentiated market, anything that can set my brand apart from the competition has to be a good thing to try. And if the current debate about the lack of appreciation of marketing in the board room is anything to go by, there may be legs in this.

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